TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Have a nice day? They did Saturday in New Jersey, where the governor declared it “Bon Jovi Day” in honor of the state’s newest Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.
Gov. Phil Murphy made the declaration hours before the platinum-selling New Jersey band was to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Cleveland.
The Democratic governor hailed the “five musicians from New Jersey communities (who) believed in their dream and used their talents to form Bon Jovi, one of the most famous, enduring rock bands of all time.”
Led by Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi, the band released its first album in 1984, but were regulars on the New Jersey bar circuit for years before that — sometimes when the singer was too young to legally drink at those bars. They went on to record classic rock anthems including “You Give Love A Bad Name,” ”Livin’ On A Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
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Bon Jovi did campaign fundraising events for Murphy, who lives near one of the rock star’s homes in Monmouth County near the Jersey shore.
The Rock Hall induction was expected to include all the original members of the band, including guitarist Richie Sambora, bassist Alec John Such, keyboardist (and Tony Award winner David Bryan), and drummer Tico Torres.
In addition to his musical career, Jon Bon Jovi is an active philanthropist, founding charity restaurants and a social service center for the needy, and raising millions for affordable housing and other needs.
Other artists who will be inducted are Dire Straits, Nina Simone and the Moody Blues.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC